SWINDON Town manager Richie Wellens has urged professional footballers to pick the project, not the league when looking for their next career move.

Wellens said several potential incomings at Town have fallen through in the early stages of a deal as players turn down the offer to join the club on loan because they do not want to play in the fourth tier of English football.

The 39-year-old argued the majority of those loanees that have joined the County Ground outfit have gone on to enjoy fine seasons and further develop their careers as a result.

And when asked why more players choose not to drop down a level in search of more regular playing time, Wellens made his feelings on the matter perfectly clear.

He said: “The quality of our loanees hasn’t surprised me.

“And it’s brilliant for me because all I hear is players saying they don’t want to go to League Two.

“Well okay, go to a League One team who is struggling or not playing well and see how that helps you.

“I always say: ‘pick the manager and pick the team’, don’t pick the league.

“There are so many people who don’t want to back themselves. They’ll say they back themselves, but they don’t really.

“They’re frightened because they don’t really back themselves.

“If you pick the team or the manager and you improve, you will end up getting going back up.”

Rarmani Edmonds-Green is the latest loan signing to walk through the door at the County Ground, and the 20-year-old follows in a long line of players who have enjoyed temporary spells at the club before going on to play at a higher level.

One of the most recent players to fit into that description is Luke Woolfenden.

At Swindon last season, the Ipswich Town centre back was not close to Paul Lambert’s side before he left Portman Road.

However, now back in a high-flying Ipswich team, Woolfenden has reportedly been attracting interest from Premier League side Sheffield United and Wellens believes more players could follow suit if they are brave enough to make the temporary step down.

He said: “Last year, we had Luke Woolfenden on loan – were Ipswich sure about him? I don’t think they were.

“They learnt a lot about his character and his desire to be a professional footballer – he always had the ability.

“He comes here for a season and suddenly he’s worth four or five million.

“So these players that are telling their agents they don’t want to go down to League Two – look at Eoin Doyle too.

“He came down to League Two and he’ll be one of the hottest properties in the summer when his contract runs out.”